Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

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Act current to 2019-04-25 and last amended on 2019-04-01. Previous Versions

PART 9Voting (continued)

Polling Day (continued)

Admitting Voters (continued)

Marginal note:Proof of qualification as elector

 A deputy returning officer, poll clerk, candidate or candidate’s representative who has reasonable doubts concerning whether a person intending to vote is qualified as an elector may request that the person take the prescribed oath, and the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes that oath.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 144
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 21

Marginal note:Proof of identity, etc., or oath not required

 Once an elector has been given a ballot, no person shall require the elector to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with subsection 143(2) or (3).

  • 2007, c. 21, s. 21

 [Repealed, 2007, c. 21, s. 21]

Marginal note:Name and address corresponding closely to another

 If a name and address in the list of electors correspond so closely with the name and address of a person who demands a ballot as to suggest that it is intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes the prescribed oath.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 146
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 22

Marginal note:Person in whose name another has voted

 If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes an oath in writing in the prescribed form. The form is to state the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of requesting a second ballot at an election contrary to section 7 or of applying for a ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 167(1)(a).

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 147
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 22
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 48

Marginal note:Name crossed off list in error

 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector takes the oath referred to in section 147 in writing.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 148
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 22
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 48

Marginal note:Failure to prove identity or residence

  •  (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to take an oath otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote.

  • Marginal note:When elector refuses to take improper oath

    (2) If an elector refuses to take an oath because he or she is not required to do so under this Act, the elector may appeal to the returning officer. If, after consultation with the deputy returning officer or the poll clerk of the polling station, the returning officer decides that the elector is not required to take the oath, and if the elector is entitled to vote in the polling division, the returning officer shall direct that he or she be allowed to do so.

  • 2007, c. 21, s. 22
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 49

Marginal note:Elector not allowed to vote

 An elector whose name does not appear on the official list of electors in his or her polling station shall not be allowed to vote unless

  • (a) the elector gives the deputy returning officer a transfer certificate described in section 158 or 159 and, for a certificate described in subsection 158(2), fulfils the conditions described in subsection 158(3);

  • (b) the deputy returning officer ascertains with the returning officer that the elector is listed on the preliminary list of electors or was registered during the revision period; or

  • (c) the elector gives the deputy returning officer a registration certificate described in subsection 161(4).

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 149
  • 2007, c. 21, s. 23

Voting Procedure

Marginal note:Delivery of ballot to elector

  •  (1) Every elector who is admitted to vote shall be given a ballot by the deputy returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Instructions to elector on receiving ballot

    (2) The deputy returning officer shall explain to each elector how to indicate his or her choice and fold the ballot so that its serial number and the initials of the deputy returning officer are visible and shall direct the elector to return the marked and folded ballot.

Marginal note:Manner of voting

  •  (1) An elector shall, after receiving a ballot,

    • (a) proceed directly to the voting compartment;

    • (b) mark the ballot with a cross or other mark in the circular space opposite the name of the candidate of his or her choice;

    • (c) fold the ballot as instructed by the deputy returning officer; and

    • (d) return the ballot to the deputy returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Return of ballot

    (2) The deputy returning officer shall, on receiving the ballot from the elector,

    • (a) without unfolding the ballot, verify that it is the same one that was handed to the elector by examining its serial number and the initials on it;

    • (b) remove and destroy the counterfoil in full view of the elector and all other persons present; and

    • (c) return the ballot to the elector to deposit in the ballot box or, at the elector’s request, deposit it in the ballot box.

Marginal note:Spoiled ballot

  •  (1) If an elector has inadvertently handled a ballot in such a manner that it cannot be used, the elector shall return it to the deputy returning officer who shall mark it as a spoiled ballot, place it in the envelope supplied for the purpose and give the elector another ballot.

  • Marginal note:Limit

    (2) An elector shall not be given more than one ballot under subsection (1).

Marginal note:No delay in voting

  •  (1) Every elector shall vote without delay and leave the polling station as soon as his or her ballot has been put into the ballot box.

  • Marginal note:Electors present at close of voting hours allowed to vote

    (2) An elector who is entitled to vote at a polling station and who is in the polling station or in line at the door at the close of voting hours shall be allowed to vote.

Special Voting Procedures

Marginal note:Assistance by deputy returning officer

  •  (1) The deputy returning officer, on request by an elector who is unable to vote in the manner prescribed by this Act because he or she cannot read or has a physical disability, shall assist the elector in the presence of the poll clerk.

  • Marginal note:Template

    (2) The deputy returning officer shall, on request, provide a template to an elector who has a visual impairment to assist him or her in marking his or her ballot.

Marginal note:Assistance by friend or related person

  •  (1) If an elector requires assistance to vote, one of the following persons may accompany the elector into the voting compartment and assist the elector to mark his or her ballot:

    • (a) a friend of the elector;

    • (b) the elector’s spouse or common-law partner; or

    • (c) a relative of the elector or of the elector’s spouse or common-law partner.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) No person shall as a friend assist more than one elector for the purpose of marking a ballot.

  • Marginal note:Oath

    (3) A person described in subsection (1) who wishes to assist an elector in marking a ballot shall first take an oath, in the prescribed form, that he or she

    • (a) will mark the ballot paper in the manner directed by the elector;

    • (b) will not disclose the name of the candidate for whom the elector voted;

    • (c) will not try to influence the elector in choosing a candidate; and

    • (d) has not, during the current election, assisted another person, as a friend, to mark a ballot.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — failure to maintain secrecy

    (4) No person who assists an elector under this section shall, directly or indirectly, disclose the candidate for whom the elector voted.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 155, c. 12, s. 40
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 101(E)
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